Rams push record to 12-0 with sweep of Cards
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
PARACHUTE, Colorado – Roaring Fork is still a relative secret on the statewide volleyball scene, but those on the Western Slope are keenly aware of what the Rams are up to.
“Oh yeah,” said Grand Valley coach David Walck, whose team became Roaring Fork’s latest victim on Tuesday. “They’re talented and experienced, and it shows.”
The Rams improved to 12-0, both overall and in the 3A Western Slope League, with a 25-14, 25-14, 25-20 win over Walck’s squad in Parachute.
Senior Landon Garvik, one of the most powerful hitters on the Slope, belted 10 kills to pace the high-velocity Roaring Fork attack. Megan Gianinetti chipped in with five kills and Joey Clingan distributed 21 assists as the Rams rolled.
Statewide acclaim has yet to come for Roaring Fork, which last season went 22-3 and finished a one-game playoff short of making the state tournament. The Rams have yet to crack the Denver Post’s 3A rankings and are currently ranked sixth in the classification by Colorado Preps Network.
On the Western Slope, though, Roaring Fork is a target of upset-minded squads.
“We have a different sort of outlook on every game than last year,” Garvik said. “Last year, we were kind of the underdog team that no one knew. We were kind of under the radar. We took a lot of teams by surprise. This year, they’re expecting it from us, so we have a little bit more expectation going into every game.”
The Rams lived up to those expectations on Tuesday, running away with the first and second games. Mixing in younger players toward the end of the night, the count tightened in Game 3.
“We’re really trying to get the younger kids in,” Rams coach Carrie Shultz said. “We have so many sophomores and we want to get them some experience so that, be it this year or next year, they’re ready to step on the court and feel comfortable and not be surprised by the pace of the game.”
While Roaring Fork continued its successful march through league play, Grand Valley’s struggles continued. The Cardinals (6-6 overall, 6-5 in the 3A WSL) lost their second straight match.
“We played very uninspired ball,” Walck said. “We were immature in our positioning and it showed. Areas where we should have experience, we lacked leadership. When that happens, it’s a flat game. … I would think we’d like to try to honor people with our best play, but we don’t do that anymore.”
Jazmin McFarland led Grand Valley with five kills. Jessica Bell had four.
Next up for the Cardinals is a Friday visit from Gunnison and a Saturday trip to Olathe.
Roaring Fork is at Aspen on Thursday, at Olathe on Friday and then at Eagle Valley on Tuesday. The latter is currently ranked eighth in 4A by the Denver Post and third by Colorado Preps. Last season, Roaring Fork edged Eagle Valley in five games.
Shultz will see where her team stands in that one.
“You know, we’re a little bit off the radar out on the Western Slope,” she said. “Most other ranked teams play each other. I think a really good comparison for us will be when we play Eagle Valley.”
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